Huge Announcement from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville!

Huntsville, Ala. –  The Von Braun Center (VBC) revealed the names, logos, and event lineup for the new music hall and restaurant in downtown Huntsville during a presentation inside the Propst Arena on the evening of Tuesday, October 29.

In a video presentation, updated renderings from the architectural firm, Matheny Goldmon, previewed Rhythm on Monroe – a full-service restaurant and rooftop bar.  Rhythm, aptly named for the different types of musical performances hosted at the VBC on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Monroe Street, will serve locally-sourced ingredients and provide fresh urban fare.  It will feature craft brews, a curated wine list, and handmade cocktails that guests will be able to enjoy while sitting near fire pits at the rooftop bar overlooking Big Spring Park. Watch video

Rhythm will be the perfect spot for a pre-show dinner, after-show cocktails, or just a great dining spot without attending an event,” remarked Von Braun Center Executive Director Steve Maples.  “The expansive open views on the rooftop bar will be a great place to watch the sun set over Downtown Huntsville!”

Rhythm on Monroe will open early 2020.  Additional details and a new website are coming soon.

Changing the landscape of the music scene in Huntsville, the VBC’s newest venue Mars Music Hall will provide an open floor plan, with a balcony overlooking an oversized stage.   With a 1,575-person capacity – this intimate setting will offer great acoustics for a variety of events ranging from concerts to comedy acts and everything in between.

“This is an exciting time, not only for the Von Braun Center but for the Tennessee Valley region,” continued Maples.  “The City of Huntsville is developing at a rapid pace and is constantly attracting out-of-market visitors and enhancing the quality of life for local residents.  Adding this size and type of music venue to the heart of the city is an important step in continuing that growth, and we could not have made this happen without the support of Mayor Tommy Battle and the City of Huntsville.”

Setting the tone for a strong lineup of acts, Jason Isbell will make Von Braun Center history by being the first performer on the Mars Music Hall stage on Friday, January 3, 2020.  Also on queue for Mars are Black Jacket Symphony, Tig Notaro, Chris Janson, Graham Nash, Jo Dee Messina and many others.  To see the full lineup of announced performances and to learn about purchasing tickets, visit

The addition of these two new venues at the VBC is part of an ongoing expansion project, approved by the Huntsville City Council in June 2017, which will ultimately include a new ballroom and multi-purpose space; renovation of the existing North Hall; the addition of breakout meeting spaces and more.  The groundbreaking for the music hall and restaurant took place on August 15, 2018.

About the Von Braun Center
The Von Braun Center is a multi-purpose facility located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. The VBC offers multiple venues for presenting cultural, educational, entertainment, sporting and social events. With over 170,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the VBC is able to accommodate events of all sizes.

January 3         Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
January 4         The Black Jacket Symphony Presents: Nirvana and Pearljam
January 17       Riley Green
January 23       Billy Strings
January 24       Machine Head
January 25       Corey Smith
January 26       An Evening with C.S. Lewis Starring David Payne
January 31       JJ Grey & Mofro
February 1       Tig Notaro
February 8       Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute
February 25     Queensrÿche with John 5 and Eve to Adam
February 28     Chris Janson
March  13        The Molly Ringwalds
March 15         Chippendales
March 25         An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash
March 28         Jo Dee Messina
April 14           Victor Wooten and the Wooten Brothers
April 26           Yacht Rock Revue
May 16            Kathleen Madigan

Experience the Flavors of Italy in Decatur, Alabama

Francesco’s Italian Restaurant serves up authentic Italian dishes with southern charm and flare.

Known locally as “Home of the Pinwheels,” Francesco’s Italian Restaurant boasts an extensive menu filled with homemade, authentic Italian recipes. Chef Roy Frias has showed a passion to achieve the authentic Italian flavor in every dish. His sister, Lucy Frias, is the friendly face you will encounter when visiting this family-owned restaurant.

Their food has been popular to regular customers from all of North Alabama surrounding areas, like Cullman, Huntsville, Madison, and of course locals from Decatur.

They have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor 2014-2016.

A Few Items from the Menu

Combo Appetizer (mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms and fried calamari)
Homemade Pasta Dishes: Ziti Campagnoli, Fettuccine Alla Primavera, Tortellini Bolognese
Steaks and Seafood: Ribeye Marsala, Steak Italiano, Shrimp Ravioli, Salmon Picata, Linguine with Clams (red or white wine sauce), Shrimp Diavolo
Desserts: Tiramisu, Cannoli, Italian Lemon Cream Cake

And so much more!

Open for Lunch and Dinner:
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 10 pm
Sundays 10 am – 9 pm; Closed Mondays

Francesco’s Italian Restaurant
2613 Hwy 31 South, AL 35603

See their mobile profile at

#excursionsgo #italianfood #visitnorthal #visitdecatural

Spring Arrives and This Huntsville Patio Heats Up

Spring arrives and the patio at Vintage Cigar Lounge heats up in Huntsville, Alabama.

Vintage Cigar Lounge is Bridge Street Town Centre’s hottest spot!

This Bridge Street Town Centre hot spot has been a local favorite since 2008. With over 2,500 different cigars to choose from, Vintage Cigar Lounge boasts a state-of-the-art walk-in humidor with knowledgeable Tobacconists on site to guide customers to new and exciting heights. With an immense collection of pipes and tobacco accessories to choose from, this is also a one stop shop for the tobacco lover in your life. Whether you are just stopping in to purchase cigars or planning to stay for a drink, there is a place for you at Vintage Cigar Lounge.

Find Your Favorite Cigars

Choose your favorite cigars from the climate-controlled humidor.
Choose your favorite cigars from the walk-in climate-controlled humidor.

Relax in the Private Lounge

The private two-story lounge provides comfortable seating and televisions.
The private two-story lounge provides comfortable seating and televisions.

One of the distinguishing features of this establishment is a private two-story lounge with televisions and plush seating throughout. This is where members enjoy a full service experience which can be accessed by guests for a modest fee. Smoking is far from the only indulgence to be had here. The bar’s award-winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer. This is also the place to be for any whiskey connoisseur, with over 150 different bourbons, scotch and rare finds to select from.

Enjoy Ample Seating Indoors or Out

The bar's award winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer.
The bar’s award winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer.

The outdoor seating is a comfortable place to gather and people-watch. With its’ well-executed concept, passionate staff and world-class offerings, this brilliantly appointed business is a true gem of both the bar and retail scenes of Huntsville. Open seven days a week, Vintage Cigar Lounge is ready to host you for any occasion whether it be a date night, business meeting or private event. Come indulge in the best!

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest promotions.

#excursionsgo #indulgeinthebest #littlehavanainalabama #visitnorthal #visithuntsvilleal #ihearthsv

“The Wild” Chinese Lantern Festival Will Light up the Night in Huntsville

Thousands of Handcrafted Lanterns Create Beautiful Displays of Color and Light

Wednesday – Sunday, March 20, 2019 – May 19, 2019

For the first time, Huntsville Botanical Garden and PNC Bank will co-host “The Wild” a Hanart Culture Chinese Lantern Festival, a fully immersive multicultural experience showcasing more than 1,000 lanterns, live entertainment, and authentic Chinese crafts for the entire family to enjoy. Debuting March 20, 2019, Hanart Culture will present a stunning display of handcrafted lights and wildlife that will transform more than 112 acres at Huntsville Botanical Garden into a magical landscape of glowing animals from around the world.

“Through intricate craftsmanship, interactive workshops and live-art performances, Hanart Culture and Huntsville Botanical Gardens have created a truly unforgettable opportunity for visitors to explore China’s rich and dynamic arts culture,” said Nick Willis, PNC regional president, Greater Alabama. “This is one of the largest exhibits of [Zigong] Chinese lantern art in the country and through engaging events like this, PNC helps bring authentic, global experiences into the communities we serve.”

“The Wild,” showcases larger- than- life lanterns, ranging in size from 12 to 23 feet tall, representing wild life from America, Oceania, Asia, Antarctica and Africa. Cheetahs, jellyfish, lions, panda bears, majestic cranes, and even dinosaurs from the five different regions will create a visually stunning display of art, tradition, and culture for garden visitors to explore during the nine-week exhibition. Not only will these displays be magical in the moonlight, but also enchanting in the sunlight, making this festival enjoyable any time of the day.

In addition to the spectacular lanterns, the festival will feature food, live Kung Fu shows and demonstrations, and shadow play. Guests can also explore and shop in the craft marketplace where authentic Chinese jewelry, artifacts, dough figurines, as well as Chinese embroidery art, sugar art, paper-cut and fabric art will be available for purchase.

Huntsville Botanical Garden will also offer an assortment of educational programs and exhibitions for all ages to enhance “The Wild” experience and to honor the Chinese culture. Guests can select from an eclectic variety of daytime educational programs such as Feng Shui designs, Tai Chi, the art of shadow puppetry, DIY Chinese lanterns, Chinese water color, and more. Additional exhibits include four ceramic elephants made of 3,200 kitchen utensils such as dishes, bowls, spoons and wine cups will also be on display.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with PNC and share this unique festival with ourcommunity” said Paula Steigerwald, president and CEO of Huntsville Botanical Garden. “It not only offers an


occasion for people to see all that the Garden has to offer, but also encourages our guests, volunteers, and staff to learn about and celebrate a different culture.”

The Lantern Festival is one of China’s most traditional celebrations with the art of Chinese lantern making dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). Today, these lanterns are made of modern materials and technology with brilliantly lit colored LED lightbulbs, musical enhancements and sound effects, and visual moving parts to create larger-than-life imaginative shapes.


“These gorgeous lanterns have evolved through the centuries, from when they were used for lighting, to an art form all their own. Chinese lanterns are a cherished part of festivals and celebrations world-wide and we are proud to bring the Hanart Culture Chinese Lantern Festival to Huntsville, Alabama” said George Zhao, president of Hanart Culture.

Produced by Hanart Culture and presented by PNC Bank, the Chinese Lantern Festival will open every Wednesday-Sunday from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., through May 19th. Advanced tickets must be purchased and are available online at for $15 – $25. Garden members receive an additional $5 off each ticket purchase.

For more photos please use this link:

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Huntsville Botanical Garden, located at 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville, AL, is open year-round and features the nation’slargest open-air butterfly house, a picture-perfect aquatic garden, spectacular nature trails, numerous specialty gardens – including an interactive children’s garden – and a variety of plant collections. This beautiful 112-acre Garden is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization run by only 35 employees and over 2600 active volunteers. With five distinct festivals each year; Beaks and Barks, Huntsville Blooms, Summer Butterfly House, Fall Scarecrow Trail and Holiday Galaxy of Lights, you’ll soon see why we say there’sAlways Something Growing On at Huntsville Botanical Garden!

About Hanart Culture

Hanart Culture is a producer/management agent of live theatrical entertainment. They exclusively represent performing artists and attractions, and arrange touring throughout North America. Hanart Culture handles different aspects of performance solicitation, negotiation and contracting engagements, as well as post-booking services (i.e. supplying press, photos, etc.) to make every performance a success. “Han” is the largest nationality of China; “Art” stands for a variety of art styles, including Kung Fu, Acrobatics etc.

Vulcan Park & Museum Hosts 3rd Annual Adult Egg Drop Competition

Community members are encouraged to attend for an evening of fun, laughter and drinks

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In conjunction with the 30th Annual Brent Newman Memorial Egg Drop, Vulcan Park and Museum’s Junior Leadership Board will host its 3rd Annual Adult Egg Drop competition on April 4 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Members of the Birmingham metro area are invited to form teams to try their hand at the classic, elementary, student competition by designing a contraption to keep an egg protected as it drops from the top of Vulcan’s 124-foot pedestal. Teams will compete for one of four coveted awards: Biggest Splat, The Greenest Egg in the Ham, Most Egg-cellent Design and The Best Laid Egg.

Teams are to submit a team registration form and $100 registration fee before April 4. The fee includes the egg drop competition for up to five team members and two drink tickets per team member. Walkup teams will be accepted but they must have the team form completed and payment at time of the event.

The Junior Leadership Board also invites spectators to cheer on the teams as they compete, enjoy Eugene’s Hot Chicken, drinks and live entertainment by JD and The Man. Tickets are only $10 per person and includes one drink ticket, access to the tower, museum and park.

Elizabeth Choy, Vulcan Park and Museum Development Coordinator said that Drink & Drop is unlike any other fundraising event held at Vulcan Park and Museum.

“Drink and Drop is a chance for participants to get super creative with their teammates, while also having a friendly competition,” said Choy. “Spectators will also have a lot of fun even without being on a team because, really, who doesn’t love the theatrics of an egg drop?”

For more information on this event visit our website at or Contact Elizabeth

Choy, Development Coordinator at

11 Best Places in Birmingham to Ring in the New Year!

Downtown Get Down
The Loft Entertainment District
Carrigan’s Pub and The Wine Loft Birmingham
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Lakeview NYE Pass
Tin Roof Birmingham and SideBar
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Celebration Holiday Surf & Turf
Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Birmingham
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NYE 1st Avenue Block Party
8 pm
1st and 23rd – Havana on 1st
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New Year’s Eve Dinner

Grille 29 Birmingham
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New Year’s Eve Celebration
Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar
Reservations required
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New Year’s Eve Party
The Tutwiler Bar & Grill
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New Year’s Day Brunch
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8 Best Places to Ring in the New Year in North Alabama

Mars Masquerade
U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville
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12/29, 12/30, & 12/31
New Year’s Weekend

The Bottle – Huntsville 
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Celebration Holiday Surf and Turf Specials

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Huntsville
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The Retrovales Live

Humphrey’s Bar and Grill – Huntsville
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New Year’s Eve At Below The Radar

Below the Radar Brewing Company – Huntsville
9:00pm – 12:00am
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New Year’s Eve

Nick’s Ristorante – Huntsville
Seating times: 6 pm or 8:30 pm
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Glow Up at Skating in the Park NYE!
Downtown Huntsville
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Josie’s Inaugural New Year’s Eve Party
Josie’s – Downtown Decatur
9:00pm – 1:00am
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Residents can now stream music from Vulcan’s Holiday Show across town

Beta web app now synced to new holiday light  show

WHO:              Birmingham residents

Anyone who can see Vulcan


WHAT:           Magic of Lights: Vulcan’s Holiday Light Experience web app


WHEN:           December 13 – December 25


WHY:              There is a beta version of a web app to allow residents who have a view of Vulcan to connect and get the experience of the sound-to-light show.


Users will need to make they have a good view of Vulcan, a strong wifi or mobile data signal and then visit on their desktop or mobile device


Click through the buttons as instructed, and every hour on the hour from 5:00 pm through 9:00 pm on Dec. 12-25  and the limited-edition web app will play the music that accompanies Vulcan’s light show!


*Please note that you will need to re-access the site for each show time you wish to listen to. A maximum of 500 users will be permitted to access the audio for each show.

**This is a beta version of the web app. Report all issues to

Vulcan Park and Museum light up the holidays with synchronized hourly light show

Guests can enjoy classic Christmas songs with this year’s 12-day show


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Vulcan Park and Museum invites the Birmingham area to gather for the Magic of Lights: Vulcan’s Holiday Light Experience, Dec. 12 – 23 from 5-9 p.m.


At the top of each hour, beginning at 5:00 p.m.,  guests will enjoy a 15-minute lively array of dancing lights choreographed to delightful holiday music.  The Anvil and Museum will have extended hours until 9:00 p.m. along with complimentary hot chocolate (while supplies last).  Visitors are encouraged to shop at The Anvil for the Red Dot Sale or purchase Birmingham-themed items from local artisans such as Earthborn Pottery and Glass Studio.


This amazing show is made possible through the generous support from Kiwanis of Birmingham and their gift of the dynamic lighting package.


Joe Saling, Director of Visitor Service Experience is thrilled to provide the community with a gathering place to enjoy the holiday season.


“We anticipate this becoming a holiday tradition for the entire family,” Saling said. “Since we are the ‘Magic City’, it is only fitting to have a magical light show.”


Santa V will be present for photos from 5 – 7 p.m. at the premiere on Dec. 12. Admission is $5 for 13 and up, $4 for kids ages 5-12 and children under 4 are free.


Event Details

  • Magic of Lights: Vulcan’s Holiday Light Experience and Santa V’s arrival:  Dec. 12  from 5:00p.m.-7: 00 p.m. (guest appearance premiere night only)
  • Shows Nightly: Dec. 12 to  Dec. 23 (5p  | 6p | 7p | 8p | 9p)
  • The Museum and The Anvil will have extended hours until 9:00 p.m. for any last minute shopping.
  • Admission is $5 for 13 and up, $4 for kids ages 5-12 and children under 4 are free.


5 Point Public House Oyster Bar offers a fresh, new take on seafood and more

5 POINT PUBLIC HOUSE OYSTER BAR offers a fresh, new take on seafood and more

At 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar find a new, fresh take on seafood and more from celebrated chef and owner George Reis. Although just next door to his flagship Ocean restaurant, the new venture could not be more different in its offerings, allowing Reis to venture outside of the seafood-centric world of Ocean and exercise his creativity.

The offerings include an oyster bar that serves only Southeastern coastal oysters as well as sushi, but also decidedly non-seafood items, like oven breads, chicharrones nachos and a variety of specialty burgers that are quickly becoming one of the biggest draws to the restaurant. Influences come from a variety of items, recipes, countries and cultures, with mashups that only a chef of Reis’ vision could put together.

5 Point Public House also allows Reis to dive into the craft beer scene that has swept through the Magic City in recent years, with more than 40 craft beer offerings, two dozen draft beers available alongside a number of cocktails and eight keg-style wines on tap to pair with the eclectic food offerings.

The new gastropub focuses on good food served in a casual, pub-like setting, where the focus is on quality and comfort for the patrons.

Their unique craft beer delivery system pumps your favorite craft to your own personal tap at a pub table…very cool indeed.


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Grille 29 in Huntsville, Alabama: Sophisticated Sizzle

Grille 29 in Huntsville, Alabama

Located in the heart of the beautiful Village of Providence, Grille 29 sets the standard for fine dining in a casual atmosphere in Huntsville through its sophisticated sizzle. Grille 29 continues to be ranked in the top group of “Best Restaurants” on Trip Advisor.

In addition to menu favorites such as Crab Cake Blend Stuffed Sea Scallops, the Filet 29 and the culinary team’s artfully designed nightly features, the Grouper Oscar has become a signature entree, pan-seared black grouper topped with jumbo lump crab meat, asparagus, and hollandaise. Pan-seared and topped with jumbo lump crab meat, asparagus and hollandaise, this dish is worthy of all the raves it receives.

Being in the Rocket City, Grille 29 embraced the space experience with the starry sky display over the bar. Over 1.3 miles of fiber optic lighting was used to make the constellations in the northern hemisphere and guests can catch a glimpse of a shooting star or comet overhead as they enjoy their dinner.

Your culinary journey will not be complete unless you experience dessert at Grille 29! Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, Lemon Lava Cake and Crème Brulee are just a sampling of delectable desserts that you must try. 

Make Grille 29 your restaurant for meeting friends after work, celebrating a special occasion or enjoying a business luncheon.  

Your table is ready and waiting!


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